American Gun Buyers React Like Rational Consumers When Supply Is Threatened

US Firearm Background Checks FBI

courtesy sfgate.com

“It’s a funny thing about American consumers – when they think they’re not going to be able to get something, they’ll rush out and buy it.”  – Dave Workman in Legacy of ’03 SF rampage [via sfgate.com]

comments

  1. avatar Craig in IA says:

    So- gun buyers are actually normal, if not somewhat greedy capitalists, eh?

    I’d think by now the primary reason someone would run out and buy, say, an AR 15 or clone, or a boatload or .22 ammo would be to hope it would yet further increase in “value” and turn a couple bucks. Me? I’m still using primers and .223/.30 cal bullets from the Clinton era. Learned my lesson back then. 🙂

    1. avatar Hasaf says:

      Actually, the short item said “rational” not “normal.” The reality is that most consumers are not rational; but they are irrational in predictable ways.

      When we talk about rational, we are talking about price driven maximizers. Instead, there are a number of biases that are predictable and override the rational, supply demand curve based behaviour. In a truly rational market place, no price will exceed the marginal cost of bringing the good to the market.

      Oddly enough, one of the few markets that works on that principle is petrol. The price is readily obtainable and there are a large number of suppliers. Most other goods are not as rationally priced.

      1. avatar El Duderino says:

        Gasoline is also difficult to hoard and has a short shelf life. When it comes to firearms and ammo, some people figure that overpaying during a crisis won’t bite them too hard, they can simply wait until the next one to sell if need be.

        1. avatar FedUp says:

          Gasoline has a moderate (few years) shelf life.
          Oxygenated gasoline has a short (few months) shelf life. Unfortunately, the Fedgov wastes a good bit of our money pushing us to buy self oxidizing petrol.

          Back in the 1970s, I could put 300 gallons of 89 octane regular in an overhead tank, and it’d still be fine a year later. Still have that tank, but would not want to own 300 gallons of the E10 crap that they sell at the local gas station, and would not want to pay for 300 gallons of the 89 octane E0 they sell at the marina.

      2. avatar Craig in IA says:

        Actually, the short item said “rational” not “normal.”

        Sorry, Hasaf, but for me, normal has always been rational, and vice versa. Of course I can only speak for myself and not others, I was merely putting forth my personal observations from being a vendor at the door of many, many gun shows over the years. And personally, I find nothing normal nor rational in paying windfall prices for things I should’ve bought years ago if I now felt I really needed them. I always find it amusing to see lines to purchase ARs for $1200 when they were selling for $550 a week before. Ditto ammo. Or a run on MREs prior to Y2K.

        Of course it also pays to reload about 35 different calibers/gauges…

  2. avatar davida says:

    Events change prioritys is really whats happening . It changes the to do list order.

    1. avatar Freebird says:

      EVENTS , Yes. When people see ANTIFA riot in the streets , as police ‘ Stand Down ‘ on orders from their Leftist leadership or F.B.I. / Parkland Sheriff failures , they know they are on their own !

      ( Not getting any answers about Las Vegas shooting does not help either. )

      1. avatar binder says:

        There are no “answers”. No one wants to talk about it to avoid copycats. It is almost impossible to protect a crowd in that situation. And everything he did was legal right up until he pulled the trigger.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Yes we’re just like everyone else(except leftards). There’s MILLIONS upon millions of us too. Locked and loaded for the coming civil war😡

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      It’s not coming. Get out and shoot those guns and that ammo. Then buy more to replenish what you’ve shot. You’ll get better at shooting and it’s a lot more fun than sitting around waiting for something that’s not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        You may be the only person I’ve heard from who believes THAT. He!! I lived through the Vietnam era and it’s much more dangerous now. Meh-he-co is going communist and the leftwing loons are emboldened. And every prophecy is fulfilled. JESUS is at the door…

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Mexico isn’t going any more communist than it has been for 50 years, which is pretty damn communist. This election was another reaction to the ever present corruption there and the renewed narco violence. Don’t look for sweeping change south of the border. The fundamentals haven’t changed, in any direction.

          As far as times being more dangerous now than the Vietnam era, it may feel like that, but relevant violent crime statistics show a different story. Plus, people are buying more, consumer confidence is high, and the markets are still sound. This just isn’t what a collapsing government looks like.

      2. avatar New Continental Army says:

        “Then replenish what you got” …. No. civil war or not, the Great Panic of 2013 proved that’s a silly plan. Always have a a decent stockpile. It’s the same with living in a hurricane prone area. You don’t just eat food then go get more. You always have a stockpile of non perishables, because the power might go out for a solid month. Speaking of that, civil or no civil war, having lived through several hurricanes, functioning society is nowhere near as stable as it appears to be. It really only takes the power going out for a few days before people start turning feral. Especially if you live in or near a city.

        1. avatar Docduracoat says:

          I Disagree with your theory about hurricane preparation
          We lay in a month supply of food and other supplies each hurricane season
          When the season is over we use it all up
          It just doesn’t make sense to keep-year-old cans and a months supply of paper towels and toilet paper filling up your space for the rest of the year
          I figure that hurricanes are a local as phenomenon and the rest of the country should be able to get to us before month has gone by

        2. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Well yeah, you occasionally use what you have so it’s not years old food. But I would counter your second point with Hurricane Katrina. Personally, I just like being set up to the point where I don’t have to rely on anyone else, if it comes to that point.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          New Continental Army,
          The hurricane analogy is a good one, but it’s my experience with them, and other natural disasters in this country and abroad, that have led me to the opposite conclusion.
          Take, for instance, Hurricane Harvey. I did quite a few waterborne rescues during that time. I never found an empty pantry in a single house we pulled people out of, or searched. Not one. There were lots of empty houses, packed full of supplies. During the Memorial Day Flood south of Austin a few years ago, I helped with a rescue of a friend where, when the guy got back to his house a week later, all of his guns and ammunition were still in the now soaked through and muddy safes they were left in, mostly ruined. The Delta Elite he had on him was not.
          I’ve seen this all over the world. Mobility=Life
          The thousands of rounds you have stockpiled mean next to nothing compared to the 2 magazines you have on you. And it’s far better to spend those thousands of rounds getting really good, so that those 2 magazines will be worth all they can be.
          Get out there and shoot.

        4. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Oh I get your point. I seem to remember your articles about you helping during Harvey. However I would still maintain having a decent stockpile is important.

        5. avatar BASHer says:

          One other thing to think about with having a non perishable reserve is giving it away. If you keep a months worth of canned food in reserve you could donate it to a food pantry on a quarterly basis and replace it. Stagg Chili is pretty good for something canned but I am not going to consume it regularly unless there are extenuating circumstances. But buying a couple 6 packs every 3 months and and donating the “old” ones that have well over a year to go to reach their sell by date to the food pantry keeps a fresh reserve for me with zero waste or repetitive meals.

  4. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    Here’s the link to the article :

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/legacy-of-93-SF-rampage-13038894.php

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Funny how the author fails to mention that while guns sales have tripled, the murder rated is less than half of what it was in 1993. Also, I rather doubt that the TEK-9 was a “military style assault weapon.” I cannot imagine any military unit fielding such a firearm.

  5. avatar Last OfTheOldOnes says:

    “There’s MILLIONS upon millions of us too. Locked and loaded for the coming civil war”

    You ain’t just a’whistlin’ Dixie…….

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Yup… Just picked up a M50 mask with some spare filters… Took me a while to look up my gas mask size.

  6. avatar MIO says:

    What if I told you that was the plan all along? Fear economics boosting
    Think about it for a bit

  7. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Not surprised. The exact same stuff was happening to Twinkies and Zima when they made their announcements.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Zima… Eew.

      1. avatar Txsteve says:

        Zima is back, btw

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Really?
          Well then I take back everything I said about civil war not being soon. Because former water walker was right, the end times must be near.

  8. avatar Ing says:

    It’s a funny thing… I had zero interest in AR-15s for a long time. I’m a levergun lover, and I just didn’t get the appeal. Then the post-Newtown hysteria got dialed up to 11 and I began to see how it might be important to have one of those Evil Black Rifles.

    If nothing else, it’s a powerful statement to the anti-gun control freaks: you don’t control me. It’s the modern musket. It’s what the Founders meant people like you and me to have when they wrote the Second Amendment. As a lifelong proponent of constitutional government and individual liberty, I felt that I owed it to myself to exercise that particular liberty precisely because people were trying to remove it.

    I had to save for a year and a half to get my AR-15. That’s how much I wanted it.

    Give credit where it’s due. I would never have put so much effort into getting one if the anti-gun progbots hadn’t kept up their hysterical yapping about how nobody should be allowed.

  9. avatar the ghost of ironicatbest says:

    Take a glass of water, make it against the law, see how good the water taste, when you can’t have any at all

  10. avatar Kendahl says:

    The best advice is to buy it cheap and stack it deep. Buy more than you need when prices are low so that you don’t need to buy when prices are high.

    The guys who pay too much but expect to make out ok the next time prices go up are kidding themselves. They forget that they have money tied up and not earning anything. If I sold my house today, my profit would be 2/3 of what I paid for it. Sounds good until you realize that was 28 years ago. My return would be less than 2% per year, not enough to keep up with inflation.

  11. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Best to remember how to make effective primitive arms…Its good to keep library references on survival, living, weapons, tool making, etc…

  12. avatar Wade says:

    What was once expensive and hard to get is now common and cheap. I am old enough to have seen several cycles. Buy your mags, spare parts, whatever you need to keep you going while it is inexpensive and available. If the Left comes to power, it will be too late.

  13. avatar Ray from Bama says:

    I had a million dollars worth of guns, ammo and other supplies before the election and 900 dollars worth after. Well damn.

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